Many industries, such as the medical industry and the computer industry, have their own technical jargon. However, there may be perhaps no other industry in the world that matches up with the amount of industry-specific speech as that possessed by the military. Fortunately, the following article lists common military vocabulary so you can begin to understand exactly what is being said before you get to base.
Common Military Vocabulary
- Anti-guerrilla Operations: operations which are conducted against guerilla forces.
- Area Defense: a type of defense that is oriented toward retaining a particular terrain. Area defense will rely mainly on the deployed forces that fire to repulse and stop the attackers.
- Assault: the last step on an attack phase. It is rushing to close combat in order to drive the enemy out for hand-to-hand combat, using hand grenades and bayonets.
- Attack: form of offensive combat. It is an offensive type of action that is directed against the enemy. The purpose is to drive the enemy from his position in order to kill or capture.
- Barrage: protective firing of indirect firing weapons
- Boundaries: the company and battalion defense areas which are limited due to terrain and means of approach.
- Caliber: the diameter of the measured bore. It is expressed in decimal inch fractions.
- Charge: part of a fire command. It establishes the propellant’s amount in a shell.
- Checkpoint: an easy to identify point on a terrain used for controlling the movement or identifying locations.
- Civic Action: the act of using military forces on certain projects involving its contribution to economic development purposes for the locals. Some of the projects usually cover agriculture, education, public works, communications, sanitation, and health
- Close combat: refers to hand-to-hand combat or fighting. It involves the use of weapons such as pistols, bayonets, rifles, and hand grenades.
- Counterattack: refers to the attack by a portion or the entire defensive force against the attackers. The main purpose of such an attack is to regain the ground that has been lost, or to destroy the enemy’s advance units. The objective is to deny the enemy of friendly territory.
- D-day: refers to the day in which an operation will commence.
- Debarkation: the process of unloading equipment, supplies, or troops from an aircraft or ship.
- Deployment: the extension of depth or width of a unit. It refers to how a particular unit is organized for combat.
- Direct fire: refers to the fire that is delivered by a weapon which is aimed directly to its target.
- Dump: temporary space to store military supplies.
- Ejection: refers to the process of expelling empty cartridges from weapons using an ejector.
- Evacuation: it is the process of relocating casualties from the battlefield. It is also the clearance of personnel from a locality.
- Extraction: the phase of an operation which involves the removal of empty cartridges through ejection.
- Ground Zero: the specific point on a ground where a nuclear weapon xploded.
- Guerillas: refers to the combatants which are members of an organized military force. Their activities usually involve harassment and disruption of the opposing forces.
- Infiltrate: the passing of troops in small groups through an entrance in the enemy’s side.
- Insurgency: refers to rebellious political activity, revolt, or rebellion designed to overthrow or weaken the authority by its very own people.
- Insurrection: the process of rising up to challenge the government by its very own people.
- Obstacle: a natural or artificial barrier that impedes or stops the unit’s movement.
- Penetration: form of attack that allows the attacking force to enter or move forward through the enemy’s defensive position.
- Political warfare: refers to the aggressive approach in using politic methods to fulfill national plans.
- Raid: refers to a small scale operation that involves quickly penetrating hostile territory in order to secure important information, to rattle the enemy, or to destroy their installations. When the mission is accomplished, the operation ends with a withdrawal.
- Rebellion: refers to open resistance that is organized and armed against the government.
- Revolt: to cast off allegiance to the government.
- Revolution: a rebellion that is able to succeed in toppling down the government and establishing new authority.
- Security: actions taken by a certain command in order to protect its group from sabotage, espionage, and observation.
- Withdrawal – an action whereby the unit disengages from the enemy as a direct order from their commander.
- Zone of fire: a particular area where a unit delivers or is about to deliver fire.
Also, see our list of Military Acronyms.
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"Common Military Vocabulary." YourDictionary, n.d. Web. 21 June 2018. <http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/glossaries/common-military-vocabulary.html>.
Common Military Vocabulary. (n.d.). Retrieved June 21st, 2018, from http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/glossaries/common-military-vocabulary.html